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bite THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CULINARY MAGAZINE


TA B L E O F C O N T E N TS c ov e r : S a h i l C h at t e r j i bac k c ov e r : l u is e b u b l i t z


4 Parachute 5 Song do 6 The Publican 7 Chant 8 Osteria La Madia 9 Nazareth Sweets 10 Coffee Culture 12 Eggs Benedict 13 Ginger 16 Chinatown 18 cooking techniques 20 culture 22 s’mores brownies 23 moroccan stew 24 blueberry lemon mousse 25 challah 26 swedish glogg Editor-in-Chief Joe Joseph Managing editor Karen Sung Heads of design hyeong-sun cho, kathryn yin Head of photography sahil chatterji Treasurer hannah bao head of programming geoffrey wang Marketing director saisha panjabi social media managers hannah ni, daniella rodriguez Content editor celine kwon designers jenny mao, karen xu, linsey nowack, ria singh, sylvia wei writers alan yang, alden herrera, alex ye, analiese batchelor, aneesa sonawalla, catalina parra, dalton hammond, gabe lynch, georgia dixon, jade cool, james barriere, jena yang, jenny lim, jessie li, kathryn yin, madison lo, martha teka, mary bittner, maya payton, michelle ling, moyo abiona, naomi gancz, nikita coutinho, rachel weinbren, veronica murashige photographers + ILLUSTRATORS aneesa sonawalla, brooke white, catalina parra, delia sosa, eva itheskeptic, fiona gasaway, gabby luu, gabe lynch, hannah ni, karen xu, linsey nowack, luise bublitz, peggy xu, ria singh, spencer chan Dear Foodies and Friends, You might have noticed something different on the title page of this quarter’s issue—Nonpareil, the name this magazine has held for almost four years, is now Bite. We’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say that the Editorial Board was motivated by an urge to choose a name that exhibited a more universal appeal in terms of marketing and outreach, as well as a name without explicit cultural ties. Although we think back on Nonpareil fondly, we look forward to the new chapter this name change opens as our organization looks to grow in the future. We took steps to implement changes last quarter when we removed the stipulations of explicitly themed issues, instead asking our own content creators to pitch their article ideas at the quarterly staff meeting. Now, we want to continue revolutionizing the way we think about food journalism, branching outside of the standard role we have occupied on campus thus far. You can look forward to more interactive and multimedia-based content, events hosted throughout the quarter, and a stronger online presence on social media and our forthcoming website.

contact us uchicagobite @gmail.com

We want to do all of this and more without sacrificing the legacy that comes with the Nonpareil name. We will still provide recipes that span a breadth of flavors, from ooey-gooey s’mores brownies (pg. 22) to spicy Moroccan stew (23). We will still send our staffers out to restaurants across the city, from Korean Barbeque in Lincoln Park (5) to Middle Eastern sweets in Albany Park (9). And we will still invite features that delve into unexplored areas and topics and ask provocative questions, such as why it is that the world of high class eating often revolves around Caucasian chefs and their interpretations of “ethnic” cuisine (20). More than anything, this name change offers the opportunity to build upon the strong foundation that already exists for our magazine. We’re excited to share this journey with you in the future, and please reach out via e-mail with any questions. For now, enjoy the first ever issue of Bite!

- The Editors


REVIEW:

PARACHUTE by // James Barriere photos // g a b b y l u u + h a n n a h n i

neighborhood avondale

price range $$

dishes to try baked potato bing bread 4

bite | winter 2016

When you walk into Parachute, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s fast-rising Avondale hotspot, one of the first things you see is a row of brightly-colored vintage speakers hanging on the wall. They are an interesting design choice, both familiar-seeming yet slightly out of place. In that sense, the speakers are a terrific encapsulation of the food that has earned Parachute the adoration of local, national, and international food critics: Parachute melds flavors from all over the map to create food that is both comforting and wholly original. At first glance, Parachute doesn’t look like one of the most acclaimed new restaurants in Chicago. It is tucked away on a corner in a largely residential neighborhood, marked only by a neon “P” above the door. Its walkway is aggressively narrow and linear, and the open kitchen is roughly the size of my dorm room. Amazingly, though, the interior never really feels cramped. A huge communal table is the focal point of the dining room, and the economical use of space permits a few smaller tables as well. The decor plays off of an exposed-brick wall with beautiful use of wood, granite, and funky light fixtures resulting in a distinct industrial air. A beautiful dining room can only get a restaurant so far. Fortunately for Parachute, the food that comes out of that tiny kitchen can hold its own against any in the city. On the snacks portion of the menu, an addictive take on Baked Potato Bing Bread comes filled with cubes of potato, bacon, and scallions. Topped with sesame seeds and smeared with a sour cream compound butter, it is a

must-order. Among the more substantial dishes on the menu, an interesting take on carbonara stood out. Beautifully springy house-made udon noodles, a savory interpretation of a sabayon (an Italian custard), delicate Dungeness crab, and rich guanciale combine for an impeccable balance of flavors and textures. Somewhat lighter but no less complex was a terrific preparation of cauliflower that pairs simply roasted florets with aggressively spiced tandoori chicken skin and a raita that gives a nice herbal undertone to the dish. We also ordered a pork belly, mung bean, and kimchi pancake topped with pineapple and hen egg. Although each component was beautifully plated and tasty on its own, the pancake had so many different elements that it was difficult to get a perfect, balanced bite. The playful spirit that elevates so many of the dishes at Parachute also carried over into dessert. A strikingly-white pavlova was revealed to be filled with bananas and walnuts after being dramatically cracked open. The incredibly technically difficult meringue was executed to perfection. A sorbet, made from sakekasu (a byproduct of the sake fermentation process), is topped with honey, meyer lemon, and shiso for a plate as good as any I’ve eaten. There are many good meals to be found in Chicago, meals that you leave feeling happy and satisfied. Rarer are the meals that make you immediately want to come back and try more. I left Parachute with total confidence in the kitchen, a smile on my face, and an immediate compulsion to eat anything that tiny kitchen puts out.


REVIEW:

SoNG DO

by // Michelle Ling + alex ye photos // Linsey Nowack + Eva Itheskeptic Song Do is an all-you-can-eat Korean barbeque (also known as KBBQ) restaurant located in Lincoln Square. A sizable party make the trip and the experience convenient and fun. Walking into the restaurant, we were a bit skeptical at first — we weren’t expecting a buffet. Typically, diners will order meats and seafood a la carte. Here, the raw meats, side dishes, sauces, and appetizers sit out in designated bins along a self-serve counter. Two attendants watch your every move from a distance as you lay your meats across metal grills atop the scorching charcoal. That said, the off-putting first impressions were quickly remedied by our self-assembled arrangement of Korean side dishes, banchan. Our favorite was the white pickled radishes, but feel free to try them all. We started with making ourselves two standard dipping sauces, a bottled sweet soy sauce and a combination of seasoned salt and sesame oil. If you’re a KBBQ firsttimer, here are some tips to act like a well-seasoned pro. First, wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind smelling of smoke and meat afterward. Second, at the Ahjuma-run joints like this, it doesn’t hurt to bring a Korean friend along, just to ease the establishment’s concern of any less-than-ideal grilling experiences. Third, make sure to cut your meat with the scissors pro-

vided to share the larger slices of meat after they have been thoroughly cooked. Conventionally, there are two respectable approaches to the game. There is the no-frills approach, which simply involves indulging on the meats as they come off the grill. The other, more involved approach requires assembling your sauced meat and favorite banchan on a leaf of lettuce, and daringly commit to stuffing the entirety into your mouth. The cool, sharp acidity of the banchan cuts through the sesame oil and sizzling meat. Browsing the counter, you may be attracted to the large array of Korean appetizers, kimbap and japchae alike, but you’re dropping a twenty on this meal, so stick with the meat. The subtitle of this restaurant is “Galbi Buffet,” and you’ll find plenty of it — long, unraveling strips of glistening, sweet-soy marinated short rib, touted for its marbling and sweetness that will form into that beloved crispy, umami crust from the ripping-hot grill. Sub-par to the Kalbi are the thin, unrecognizable, vaguely labeled slices of “beef” and “pork,” along with standard skewers of chicken breast, all of which hold their own after sear-

ing. These meats by themselves don’t have any remarkable flavor, so coating them in the nutty, fragrant salted sesame oil will do the trick. Surely this meat isn’t choice-cut, but the simple pleasures of sizzling oils and salt is unavoidable. It stands that consuming copious amounts of meat with your friends is the essential experience of KBBQ that students don’t always have.

neighborhood Lincoln park

price range $$

dishes to try sweet-soy marinated short rib reviews

5


REVIEW:

The publican By // Martha Teka w Photos // sahil chatterji Located in Fulton Market in the West Loop, the Publican offers a neo-American seafood and pork based menu, in a space described as “evocative of a European beer hall” by the seasonal menu itself. The seating space at The Publican is something like a cross between a rustic bar and a high-­end cafeteria. I passed the restaurant twice, missing the door given the minimalistic, non­ descript entrance. With high ceilings and exposed wooden pieces, The Publican provides an ambiance that made a cold January evening feel like June. There’s both standing and sitting room for dinner — we started the meal standing but were thankfully seated post­-drinks. There are enclosed, private booths available complete with swinging doors that appear to resemble a pig­pen, as well as long communal wooden tables. Our party managed to score a spot at the end of a communal table, and we shared three appetizers — the Publican bread plate, the beets, and the Brussels sprouts. The small bread plates were accompanied with

cultured butter, which was creamy and tangy with a slight yogurt essence. The burrata Brussels sprouts were a nice juxtaposition of a bitter crunchy and a soft mellow flavor, while the beets were a perfect execution of a classic dish. There are a variety of delicious options for those who can’t eat pork or are pescatarian, though the menu is not incredibly vegetarian friendly. I opted for the cuttlefish ink pasta with mussels, as I don’t eat pork products. Having had similar ink pasta dishes before at other restaurants, I was surprised by how unique it tasted. The pasta had absorbed the ink sauce a perfect amount — it was delightfully acidic. There were breadcrumbs to offset the moisture, and the texture of the linguine pasta was just past al dente, complimenting the thin nature of the mussel’s sauce. The dish was, however, incredibly salty. Even so, the mussels were great and properly prepared, tender with an almost fluffy texture and briny with no fishy taste. The leftover acidic sauce was perfect for dipping

neighborhood WEST LOOP

price range $$$

dishes to try the brussels sprouts 6

bite | winter 2016

with the leftover bread from the Publican bread plate. A fellow dining companion had the pork belly. Simply named and prepared, the dish was incredibly tender. The meat was juicy, just short of being too oily. It was accompanied with a vegetable puree of persimmon, turnip, and dill. The puree was even and strong, with persimmon being the most powerful note. The dish was topped with a tangy, citrus sauce. Overall, the most striking aspects of the restaurant were the dining room and the ambiance. The food was properly prepared but often over salted. The small plates were easily the star of the meal, with a unique enough flavor profile to work as stand alone dishes. The Publican is a great spot for parties of four or more, with an extensive menu of global brews for those who are of legal drinking age. The Publican offers a popular brunch menu as well, and as such, I look forward to returning to Fulton Market to give the menu a try.


REVIEW:

CHANT By // Alden Herrera + Catalina Parra Photos // Hannah ni Greeted at the door with a giant bamboo rice streamer hanging from the ceiling, it’s easy to see that Chant has as fun of an atmosphere as its name suggests. It specializes in Asian-Indian fusion, and a night out here won’t break the bank. This lively little restaurant is located down 53rd street, right across from Harper Court. Before the dinner rush, we were seated right away and quickly ordered appetizers. We started with the Shrimp Chant plate, recommended by the waiter. The dish includes six pieces of shrimps, sauteéd or fried per choice, with a wasabi­- avocado aioli dipping sauce. The menu describes the shrimp as marinated with colorful ingredients (cilantro, mango, and jalapeno), but the shrimp served seemed to lack these dynamic tastes. Nevertheless, the one­-of­ a­-kind aioli sauce spiced up the shrimp as a light appetizer. We also ordered the gyozas: chickenfilled potstickers stir­-fried with a sweet and spicy chili sauce. The flavor was a classic mix of tastes with soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. With the fusion-­o riented goal of the restaurant, we expected the gyozas to have an innovative zing to them. Regardless, the shredded carrots paired with the gyozas added an amazing touch. Served in its own ceramic pot, the coconut chicken soup was next. This dense, coconut milk based dish was creamy and savory, with the touch of chili sauce on top adding a tinge of spice to each spoonful. While the volume of rice and chicken did make the dish a bit monotonous in texture,

the strong coconut base did not disappoint. The star of this Asian fusion show, however, was the duck taco plate. Three tacos were each topped with braised duck, cabbage, and a sweet chili sauce. The crunch of the green cabbage was supported by the fatty juiciness of the meat. Each bite was a convergence of sweet, salty, and umami, all coming together with a soft, chewy flour tortilla. All in all, the plate was a multidimensional, Chinese­ influenced combo that left us wanting more. We would have gladly ended the meal with another round of this taco trio, but we found ourselves looking at the dessert menu instead. Even though we were already stuffed, we couldn’t turn down a molten lava chocolate cake served with a fresh whipped cream, raspberry creme anglaise, and fruit curd. The taste of the fruit curd burst with flavors of passion fruit and mango; the fresh, almost sour, taste of tropical fruits mixed with the burst of sweet, warm, dark chocolate oozing cake, created a unique tang that I could not get enough of. Even so, a scoop of vanilla ice cream cost an extra one dollar, which could be a little concerning to the everyday customer. All in all, Chant gave us great vibes: friendly service, good food, and complete affordability for a good dinner away from the typical college dining hall. The fusion of Indian curries and spices with Chinese tastes gives Chant a great chance to become a well­ k nown restaurant to Hyde Park.

neighborhood hyde park

price range $$

dishes to try duck taco plate + molten lava chocolate cake

reviews

7


REVIEW:

osteria

la madia neighborhood river north

price range $$$

dishes to try woodfire pizzas + bruschetta fondue

8

bite | winter 2016

By // nikita coutinho + jenny lim Photos // catalina parra Walking in, we were immediately struck by the restaurant’s aura; Osteria La Madia is a place where your evening could swing between light‐hearted gossip and a quiet heart‐to‐heart. The dark wood-paneled tables, rustic lamps, and shelves of wine teem with sophistication, combining together for a distinct air of yesteryear. This feeling is complemented by the eclectic mirrors that adorn the walls and the presence of an open kitchen, where we watched the establishment’s famed pizzas being made. Glancing over the menu took little time, owing to its somewhat limited nature, though the wine menu was a different story. After much deliberating, we settled on the wild mushroom bruschetta, roasted artichokes, and tomato and bufala mozzarella fondue. We tried to choose a diverse selection to examine the breadth of Osteria’s antipasti starters. Although the dishes themselves took some time to arrive, when they did come, they were worth the wait. The bruschetta consisted of thick, toasted slices of bread, generously slathered in fresh ricotta, with a heaped pile of sautéed mushrooms atop. The basil accentuated the ricotta, and we really liked how the earthy notes of the mushroom were allowed to shine through rather than drowning in a sauce; the only downside was the small serving size, which was hardly enough to share between two. Another highlight was the mustard based dip that accompanied the artichokes, which were perfectly roasted and dressed with lemon and garlic. The dip added sharpness to the dish. Although perhaps more owing

to the nature of the ingredient than the restaurant’s craft, the artichokes required time and skill to cut and eat, and we unanimously felt they were unfit for novices (or date night). The fondue, which featured fresh mozzarella over a rich tomato sauce, was a marvel in its own right, but it was overshadowed by the bread that accompanied the fondue—warm to the touch and smelling gloriously like an early morning visit to the local bakery, the ample serving of bread was appreciated by everyone at our table. We then delved into the pasta and pizza with high expectations. The wild mushroom pizza was ample enough to serve three; it featured liberal sprinklings of seasoned mushrooms and smoked mozzarella on a textured thin crust. The freshness of the individual components, and the fact that the pizza itself was made before our eyes, made this dish an instant winner. The artfully plated casoncelli, creamy butternut squash puree stuffed in candy‐wrappershaped pasta with sautéed spinach and crushed pistachios, added different layers of texture and taste with every bite. The sautéed spinach kept the velvety texture of the pasta grounded, giving the dish a comforting and earthy feel overall; it was only regrettable that the pasta was not fully cooked through. Despite the fact that the Saturday dinner rush was at its peak while we dined, our servers were extremely friendly and attentive. It was notable how accommodating they were to our various dietary restrictions. Ultimately, Osteria’s prices are on the higher side, but for its impeccable service, earthy atmosphere and scrumptious fare, we felt we got our money’s worth.


REVIEW:

Nazareth Sweets By // Georgia Dixon + Veronica Murashige Photos // Spencer Chan What’s a better way to start off a bright Saturday morning than by checking out a hole­-in-­the-wall sweets shop? Located in the Albany Park neighborhood on the Northwest side, Nazareth Sweets is easily accessible via the Kedzie Brown Line stop. After over an hour-long journey from campus, we were rewarded with no fewer than nine different varieties of baklava and countless other Middle Eastern sweets. Nazareth unfailingly provided us with syrupy, yet flakey treats. Their sweets are uniformly arranged behind a glass display case. The dessert-­filled trays articulate both gluttony and restraint–the gluttony from the sheer amount of food displayed and restraint from the small, uniform portions. The sweets ranged in texture from caramelized richness to crunchy delicacy. A favorite dessert, the bamya, can be described as a combination of a churro’s piped shape, the visual texture and coloring of a date, and the sheen of a glazed fruit tart. It had the distinct saturation of a maple-soaked pancake and the nostalgic flavor of fairground funnel cake. This was the most overwhelmingly saccharine experience that I had at Nazareth. Nazareth enters the realm of delicacy too. One particular dessert, the ballouria, consisted of two layers of rose syrup-­soaked cracked wheat and a middle layer of vibrant green pistachios. The flavor was floral, while the texture was crunchy. Their traditional baklava was outstanding and worth the trip for that alone. Nazareth produces them with a variety of different nuts, including less common fillings like cashew and almond instead of the more typical pistachio. The bottom layer was a dense, caramelized mass of phyllo dough; the middle an intensely vibrant layer of pistachios; and finally, the top was crisped and buttered. Additionally, there were other sweets such as awamah, a dessert comparable in looks to gulab jamun, but in taste and texture more similar to the bamya. Nazareth’s knafeh consisted partially of sweetened cheese, so specific in its taste that it was reminiscent of cheese made from the milk of pasture-­fed cows. It was topped with saffron infused finely ground wheat. The ladies working behind the counter were kind enough to give us samples of some of the desserts. Individual sweets are sold by weight, although boxes of baklava, cookies, and samplers of different sweets are sold at a fixed price. The medium sized sampler of 30 sweets costs $15, so make sure to bring a few back for your friends (or for yourself, we’re not judging).

neighborhood albany park

price range $

dishes to try bamya + ballouria

reviews

9


your guide to the best

coffee shops in chicago

COFFEE CULTURE

BY KATHRYN YIN PHOTOS by LUISE BUBLITZ & BROOKE WHITE

10

bite | winter 2016


C

offee culture is a religion at the University of Chicago— by The Wormhole Coffee. It’s ‘80s-themed, and if you don’t look one enters a nonbeliever, and emerges a disciple. I blame it closely enough, you might miss Marty McFly’s DeLorean chilling on the multitude of cafes on campus; after all, it seems like towards the back. The quirky little touches: mismatched furniture, a caffeine fix is never located more than a few convenient steps vintage toys, and Italian Star Wars posters all lend character. Added away. It also might be because the students here are constantly bonus: it’s open till 11PM, so bring your laptop, order a vanilla running on fumes, whether it be because of self-induced all night- bean latte, and hunker down. Of course, being Wicker Park, there ers or fourth week in all its terrifying glory. Or it might simply are a number of phenomenal coffee shops just around the corbe because there is something strangely cathartic about ordering ner. Buzz: Killer Espresso is just next to Myopic Books and offers a cappuccino, or an iced coffee, or what-have-you, and finding a comfortable two-floor space, and Filter Cafe, a few more doors a little spot for yourself amongst the down, offers an eclectic lounge vibe and gentle murmur of the late morning some stellar fresh-roasted coffee and crowd, the low click-clack of a laptop espresso. Intelligentsia is a classic, and 1. Wormhole 2. Buzz: Killer Espresso keyboard, and the grind and tamp of with six locations in Chicago, you can 3. Gaslight Coffee Roasters an espresso machine. It all culminates access quality no matter where you are 4. Cafe Mustache in a feeling of solidity and calmness. in the city. It’s more sleek and modern, 5. Star Lounge You feel like you’re at home, and this but they don’t mess around with their 6. Bridgeport Coffee quarter I challenge you to find that espresso. 7. Ipsento home outside of Hyde Park. Hop on Unable to leave Hyde Park? I’m disap8. Intelligentsia the 55, call an Uber, and check out pointed, but hey, I get it. The Div School 9. Asado Coffee one of the places I did. Cafe, or Grounds of Being is tucked Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Logan away in the basement of Swift. While Square embodies a charming neighit’s cash only, all proceeds go to the Div borhood shop, and if you’re a fan of rustic, reclaimed wood coffee School, and a cup of Colectivo coffee for $1? I’m down, and you tables and decor that errs on the side of slightly bizarre, than you’ll should be too. Hallowed Grounds, which does take Maroon Dolfit right in. The coffee’s great, but if you have some time on your lars, is another safe bet and perennial favorite. Keep your eyes out hands check out their lunch options––the Duck Benedict’s a win- for some phenomenal live jazz every once in a while. ner. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, take a few more If there’s one truth I’m absolutely sure of after being a student here, steps and arrive at Cafe Mustache, where the Black Pepper, Fig & it’s that there is no better place to realize your coffee addiction than at Vanilla Latte awaits you. the University of Chicago. Make the trip out into the city anyways–– If you’re in the Wicker Park neighborhood, make sure to stop grab a few friends, try some great coffee, and just enjoy yourself.

features

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P H OTO

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BY JESSIE LI Eggs Benedict was allegedly madeto-order by the maître d'hôtel at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 for the Wall Street stockbroker Lemuel Benedict, who ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of hollandaise.” This 1894 anecdote became one of several accounts on the origin of this classic brunch favorite. The original, most basic Eggs Benedict recipe is known around the world as a toasted English muffin topped with a piece of ham and a poached egg, all generously coated with hollandaise sauce. However, now it is not uncommon to find variations of this combination; some twists on the classic Eggs Benedict have regional features that add a very special kick to this brunch item. One very classic twist of the Eggs Benedict is known by another name, Eggs Florentine. Eggs Florentine uses 12

bite | winter 2016

creamed baby spinach cooked with garlic and onions instead of the ham and may also include a couple of slices of crisped prosciutto. In addition to the tradition English muffin, French toast or even a simple piece of tomato can be used as the base. Some Eggs Florentine, in place of the hollandaise sauce, might use Mornay sauce or infused hollandaise sauce as the rich coating of the dish. The simple French elements add richness and different flavors to this classic favorite and are becoming more and more popular in Eggs Benedict. Likewise, Southern flavors are also used increasingly frequently in Eggs Benedict. It is hard to imagine hearty, decadent Southern elements in this delicate brunch item; however, the end result is amazingly delicious. One such dish, coined the name Eggs Sardou,

is a Louisiana dish that is served in many restaurants in the South. Eggs Sardou is influenced with some classic Southern elements: artichokes, creole hollandaise, which is usually infused with cayenne, paprika, or hot sauce to add extra heat, and grits on the side. Even though it is not as smooth as the classic version, Eggs Sardou has a rustic charm and offers hearty, complex mouthfuls that are without a doubt impressive. There are many more variations of Eggs Benedict being introduced, each one new and exciting. No matter how many different elements are infused, however, each variation still reminds me of the classic Eggs Benedict; that, perhaps, is the true appeal of the timeless favorite.

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A CLOSER LOOK

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Eggs Benedict


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features 1313 features


ginger citrus punch strong ginger snaps

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ew things can be considered universally essential, but on the short list of these things, food must be at the top. As a vital part of cultural and social relations, food can highlight individuality, but it also provides the opportunity to mix and match different cuisines for a truly original culinar y adventure. The multi足s ensor y experience that eating allows for has been classified using the five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, umami (savor y), and salty. One spice has the ability to produce and enhance these five tastes in cuisines all over the world. Ginger, the universal spice, has been a staple of global cuisine since its years of high demand on the spice trade route connecting Asia and Europe. Known for its medicinal properties in the Indian

Ayur veda tradition as well as the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, ginger continues to be explored for its biological benefits and plays a key role in creating the flavors that excite the global palate today. The versatility of ginger allows for a variety of interpretations in cooking, contributing its unique flavor to an array of different foods. In India especially, ginger is an essential ingredient for curr y dishes and is also extensively used in both hot and cold drinks. In parts of Southeast Asia, ginger appears in Burmese salads and Thai cooking pastes, while its leaves are used as a garnish in Vietnamese soups for a subtler flavor than the roots provide. In the Caribbean, Jamaican ginger beer is enjoyed for its potency and as a refreshing

carrot potato ginger soup

14

bite | winter 2016


vegetable ginger fried rice "Ginger can be intense, warm, sweet, mellow it can capture the essence of any meal." complement to many traditional meat dishes. Jamaica is also home to the famous spice cake, which is a closer representation of ginger’s use in Western cuisine. In the U.S, ginger is most often used in sweet treats like gingerbread, ginger snaps, and ginger ale. The possibilities of culinar y creativity are heightened with

the inclusion of ginger, whether to complement dishes or for a jolt of flavor. The word “spice” is often synonymous with heat, or food with a certain kick to it, a characteristic which ginger can certainly provide. However, keeping in mind that there are a variety of tastes, the idea of spice should encompass more than just heat. Ginger can be intense, warm, sweet, mellow — it can capture the essence of any meal. Whether grated, minced, sliced, or diced, ginger remains at the ser vice of the chef, and its use is limited only by the extent of the chef ’s creativity. Perhaps ginger, the quintessential spice of world cuisines, and as dynamic and unpredictable as life itself, is truly “the spice of life.”

ginger spiced yogurt features

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A FOOD TOUR OF

ch i n atow n BY // MADISON LO + JENA YANG PHOTOS // DELIA SOSA

xian Xi’an has one of the most important political and cultural histories in China — it was the capital city of multiple dynasties, the starting point of the Silk Road, and remains the site of the Terracotta Army. Located in the northwest of China, Xi’an has a unique culinary tradition influenced by its Muslim population and by neighboring Chinese provinces. The flavors are bold and sour, and preferred ingredients include chilies, lamb, and noodles. The Chicago restaurant Xi’an Cuisine has an unassuming interior with calligraphic artworks on the walls and offers a concise 19-item menu of authentic regional dishes. We recommend the “Hand-Stretched Noodles with Lamb in Soup.” Chewy noodles hand-stretched into various shapes and widths are topped with wood-ear mushrooms and cilantro. Tender meat and chewy tendons add texture and taste, while the milky broth made with lamb bone is unbelievably flavorful.

hunan Hunan in south-central China is known for its magnificent mountain ranges and natural beauty. In contrast to the numbing hotness of Sichuan dishes, Hunan food is sour-hot, stemming from the belief that the yang energy of spices combats the yin of wet, cold weather. Hunan is also the home province of Mao Zedong, who famously said, “You can’t be a revolutionary if you don’t eat chilies.” We decided to balance the yin of Chicago’s winter by visiting Lao Hunan. Political kitsch is Lao Hunan’s charm: a mega-size image of Mao takes up a wall of the yellow dining room. We ordered “Chairman Mao’s Favorite Pork Belly,” which was more spiced than spicy. The thick-cut braised pork belly melts in your mouth and is accompanied by vegetables covered in a pungent sauce fragranced with cinnamon, garlic, and ginger that is perfect over white rice. 16

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ca n to n es e

Dim sum brings to mind chattering servers pushing carts filled with steaming bamboo baskets. It has become synonymous with weekend brunch in China and has gradually become more widespread abroad. But dim sum had very different origins — the food was allegedly developed in the Guangdong province by palace cooks. Dim sum translates to touch the heart. It made its way to the teahouses on the Silk Road as weary travelers sought snacks. Dim sum is for this reason often referred to as yum cha or “drinking tea” in China. Triple Crown serves dim sum throughout the day. The char siu bao (barbecue pork buns) balance sweet and savory meat inside delicate soft buns. The har gow (shrimp dumplings) and shumai (pork dumplings) are flavorful despite their slightly floppy skins. Stop by for yum cha or light snacking like the Silk Road travelers — the restaurant might be far removed from those teahouses, but the food continues to embody its unique fragment of Chinese history and culture.

s ze ch ua n The weekend lines at Lao Szechuan usually stretch out the door — the restaurant is beloved for the bold flavors that dominate their dishes. Szechuan food comes from the Szechuan province in southwestern China. Most Szechuan dishes are seasoned with liberal amounts of garlic and hot peppers to give them the aggressive flavor that defines Szechuan cuisine. The Szechuan peppercorn or huajiao used in many dishes adds an intensely fragrant citrus taste and often causes tingling in the mouth. The dry chili chicken at Lao Szechuan has more peppers than chicken. But the taste is rich and complicated — the dried peppers add an intense smoky fragrance to the dish to counter the fattiness of the salty fried chicken and balance the spiciness. Lao Szechuan embodies this rich regional culture that is considered one of the Four Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine. features

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cooking techniques:

EGGS

Eggs are one of the most accessible, affordable, and flexible sources of protein for the average student. The applications are endless, from an emulsifier to a stabilizer. Here are four easy, integrative techniques for cooking eggs that are sure to impress.

by // alex ye + dalton hammond photos // peggy xu

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • This creamy concoction offers one of the tastiest creations for the least amount of work. Fundamentally a mixture of eggs, whole milk, and/or heavy cream, custard is most usually flavored with sugar and vanilla extract, then baked.

CUSTARD

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METHOD

APPLICATION

To prepare a basic sweet egg custard, mix sugar and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add a 4:3 ratio of eggs to whole milk. Add more milk for more runniness, add more eggs for more firmness.

Egg custard is found in countless desserts such as egg­ tarts, banana cream pies, and bread pudding.


Whipping egg whites involves denaturing the protein in the egg whites by the force of a whisk, while simultaneously incorporating air to form a stiff foam. To start, you’ll need a medium­to large mixing bowl (it must be either metal or glass), a whisk, and egg whites.

METHOD

APPLICATION

Whisk egg whites vigorously until stiff peaks form when you lift the whisk from the whites, which means that the peaks return to their original shape when disturbed. Slowly incorporate a small amount of acid (lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar).

Whisk in piping hot simple syrup to make royal icing or divinity candy. Fold the whites into a yolk mixture and bake to make a souffle. Slowly whip in sugar and vanilla extract to create meringue, which can simply be baked on its own or be used to top or fill desserts like pies, baked Alaska, and macaroons.

WHIPPED EGG WHITES

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Aioli is the garlicky, lemony cousin of mayonnaise. As an emulsion, this condiment is made by gradually incorporating oil into beaten egg yolks, then adding an acidic component to help the protein in the yolk denature, or “cook.”

METHOD

APPLICATION

With a whisk, fork, or chopsticks, beat your egg yolks into a smooth consistency, then very slowly add a neutral oil and mix until incorporated. As the emulsification progresses, you can add more oil at an increasing rate. Try a 4:1 ratio of neutral oil to olive oil for the perfect combination of consistency and flavor.

For the most basic aioli, add crushed garlic and lemon juice to your liking. We don’t like exact measurements, as savvy cooking is more of a philosophy than a science, so trial and error will lead you to your preferences.

aioli

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The most fun, no frills technique with eggs is what we call the protein taco. Tortillas are replaced by a fried egg atop a thin, crispy layer of fried cheese. The result is a double dose of protein with all the flexibility of a tortilla.

METHOD

APPLICATION

With an inexpensive package of shredded cheese, form an even layer of shreds onto a non­stick pan. Turn your stove top on the lowest heat setting to let the cheese melt. Be sure to use a cheese with a higher protein to fat ratio, as a fattier cheese will just yield more oil. Once the cheese is melted, add your egg. Your egg and cheese will cook slowly, so use the time to do anything else.

Prepare your toppings or pour yourself a drink and relax. Eat by itself, or top with anything you would on a taco. We used grilled chicken thighs, avocadoes, sriracha, and chives.

protein taco

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ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATION BY KAREN XU


culture in the kitchen BY // ALAN YANG –––––––– ILLUSTRATION // RIA SINGH

T

his past summer, I was walking through Concourse C of Portland International Airport when I decided to make a stop at The Oregonian News to pass time before I had to catch my flight back to Las Vegas. Walking past the bags of chips, nuts, and bottles of water, I slowly wandered to the back of the store to take a peek at some of the magazines. Feeling a bit hungry, my eyes fell on the latest edition of Bon Appétit, or some other food magazine ... I forget. But I do remember flipping through the pages to an article titled something along the lines of “The Best Fried Chicken Recipes.” I would have been more impressed with the article had it not been the case that all three recipes were written by Caucasian chefs. How is it that only Caucasian chefs could master a dish that had become a staple because of African slaves in the American South? When we consider the demographics of chefs that comprise the supposed elite dining institutions of our day, we see an overwhelmingly Caucasian- and maledominated industry. This is true, even when in cuisines that have non-European ties. Chicago is definitely no exception to this rule. Take Momotaro, where Executive Chef and Partner Mark Hellyar attempts to capture modern Japanese and izakaya cuisine in West Loop. Rick Bayless’s Xoco and Frontera bring Mexican cuisine to the forefront of the Chicago food scene. Stephanie Izzard is set to take on an American interpretation of Chinese cuisine with Duck Duck

Goat, also in West Loop. High Five Ramen, by Brendan Sodikoff, attempts to mimic the street ramen restaurants of Tokyo. Even our local Mark Sheeran’s Packed obfuscates cultural origin for an interesting and unique product. It is clear that we are presented with the problem of representation throughout the restaurant industry. Not only is it that Caucasian chefs dominate the elite restaurant scene, they also are the only ones who bring underrepresented cuisines to acclaim. Only two out of the 21 restaurants given stars by the Michelin guide were not of European

are legitimate and because I think that transparency is necessary in the world of upper class dining establishments. While restaurants honed by immigrant cooks and owners never gain critical acclaim, their Caucasian owned counterparts do. I do not ask you to not enjoy the creations that these chefs have brought before you. Indeed, I enjoy many of them myself. Instead, I simply implore you to consider the process by which these dishes were brought to the table. I implore you to explore dining establishments in Chinatown, Pilsen, and Devon before you reach for those in West Loop, Wicker

Not only is it that Caucasian chefs dominate the elite restaurant scene, they also are the only ones who bring underrepresented cuisines to acclaim. cuisine: Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s Korean American Parachute as well as Rick Bayless’ Mexican Topolobampo. Otherwise, the restaurants specialized in European cuisine or molecular gastronomy. In a world where equality and equity are made goals, there are apparent disparities to be dealt with in the industry of cuisine. I do not present this article as a referendum on the restaurant industry. I acknowledge these questions because they

Park, and Lincoln Park that attempt at making their dishes more palatable for the typical American consumer. In these traditional restaurants, you will find the ingenuity of the cultures that have handed down their distinctive dishes and cuisine secrets through generations so that you too could have a taste. Visit a traditional Thai restaurant. Perhaps you will find something that not even a white chef immersed in the ways of Northern Thai cuisine could attempt to replicate.

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S’MORES BROWNIES by // Rachel Weinbren photos // Fiona Gasaway

T

oo cold to venture outside? No fire pit to be had? We have your solution! Wrap yourself up in a blanket, grab some milk, and enjoy the fun of a fireside chat from inside your kitchen. The crunch of the toasted graham cracker, the fluff of a warm marshmallow, and the double dose of chocolate all wrapped up in cupcake liner make this the perfect winter treat. Ideal for a night in, a dinner party, or a sweet Christmas present, these brownies will definitely get your seasonal vibes humming. Want to make them in advance or for a post-midterm treat? Stick them in the freezer and re-heat in the microwave for a melted-chocolate, gooey-marshmallow, just-baked treat! Easy to make, yet intricate and innovative, these brownies take the traditional s’more to another level. For even more of a kick, add peanut butter, pretzels, or another graham cracker layer to add to the already scrumptious taste. Get your chocolate on and enjoy!

{

PREP 20 minutes COOK 20-25 minutes MAKES 24 servings

} GET

For the crust: • 2 cups crushed graham crackers • ⅔ cup butter, melted (or more for a thicker crust) For the chocolate layer: • 1 bar of baking chocolate OR 8 Hershey’s chocolate bars and 4 tbsp. milk For the brownies: • 1 cup butter, melted • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 cups granulated sugar • 4 eggs • 4 tsp. vanilla extract • 24 large marshmallows DO

adapted from www.eazypeazymealz.com/smores-brownies 22

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1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 2. Spray both the bottoms and the sides of a cupcake pan, or use cupcake liners. 3. Mix together the melted butter and graham crackers. Place 1-2 tbsp. into each cupcake liner. 4. Melt chocolate (either by adding milk to Hershey’s bars or by melting the baking chocolate) and add 1-2 tbsp. into each cupcake liner. 5. In another bowl, mix together the melted butter and cocoa powder. 6. Add flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla, and mix until just combined. 7. Place a scoop of mixture into each cupcake liner and bake for 20-25 minutes. 8. Squish each marshmallow and place one in each liner. 9. Turn oven to 500°F (broil), and bake until marshmallows are lightly toasted (roughly 2 minutes).


{ MOROCCAN STEW by // Gabe Lynch

I

photos // Gabe Lynch

s it possible that some of the best hearty food for the winter comes from a country where temperatures rarely drop below 50° F? It may seem unlikely, but one taste of this vegetarian Moroccan stew will convert even the staunchest of unbelievers. It has all of the qualities of the perfect dish—intensely flavorful, quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and better when it’s left over. Made with ingredients and spices that you can find almost anywhere, there’s no reason not to let this dish keep you warm while the days get colder. Use this recipe as a starting point, but feel free to add additional spices or vegetables to make it your own (I hear nutmeg and cayenne are nice additions). The stew can be eaten as soon as all of the spices are added, but leaving it to simmer for at least 15 minutes is worthwhile as it makes all of the flavors stronger.

PREP 15 minutes COOK 30 minutes MAKES 4-5 servings

}

get

• 2 tbsp. olive oil • 1 medium onion, diced • 4 cloves garlic, minced • 2 cups vegetable broth • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced • 2 small potatoes, chopped • 15 oz. (1 can) chickpeas, rinsed well and drained • 7 oz. (½ can) crushed tomatoes • 1 tbsp. tomato paste • 1 tsp. cumin • 1 tsp. black pepper • ½ tsp. paprika • ½ tsp. turmeric • ½ tsp. cinnamon • Salt to taste do

ADAPTED FROM REDDIT adapted from Reddit.com

1. Pour the olive oil into a medium pot, adding enough to ensure the bottom is covered. 2. On medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic until tender. 3. Add carrots and potatoes. Continue sautéing for at least 5 minutes to allow the potatoes to soften. 4. Add the remaining ingredients and spices, mixing well. Reduce heat to low, and allow everything to simmer at least until the vegetables are tender. The potatoes will be tender when the stew is ready to serve. recipes

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VEGAN BLUEBERRY LEMON MOUSSE by // Jade Cool + Naomi Gancz photos // Delia Sosa

T

his fun, layered, one hundred percent vegan dessert is the best and only way to satisfy your guests, impress your friends, and finally make your parents proud. The mousse is decadent and satisfying, and the blend of blueberry, lemon, and coconut all come together to evoke memories of summer. This fresh, creamy concoction is not only healthy and easy to prepare, but also makes for a delicious treat. Whipped layers of tangy lemon, delectable blueberries, and spring magic all come together to make your taste buds melt off of your face.

{

Prep 5 minutes Cook 20 minutes Makes 2 servings

} get

• 13.5 oz. full-fat coconut milk (chilled at least 24 hours) • 4 tbsp. powdered sugar • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 2 tbsp. blueberry preserves • Zest and juice of one lemon do

1. Scoop solidified fat out of coconut milk can (after chilling, the solid fat will have separated out of the liquid and floated to the top). You will not be using the liquid. 2. Whip coconut fat until soft peaks form. 3. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, whisk until incorporated. 4. Divide the mixture equally into separate bowls. Whisk preserves into one bowl, and lemon zest and juice into the other. 5. Carefully layer the two mousses into a serving glass. 6. Chill for 4 hours or longer in fridge. 24

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{

PREP 4.5 hours COOK 4.5 hours MAKES 15 servings

}

CHALLAH BREAD by // Maya Payton photos // Peggy Xu

R

emarkably versatile and uniquely appealing, this traditional Jewish bread is a delicious testament to simple baking. With fewer than 10 ingredients, this recipe makes for a beautiful, golden-sweet bread with minimal effort. While the preparation takes a few hours, most of this time is simply to allow the dough to rise. Braiding the dough can be a daunting prospect, but the three-stranded plait is as easy to manage as a hair braid, and there are plenty of online articles detailing more intricate designs for the ambitious baker. The recipe yields two fluffy, aromatic loaves perfect for any meal and any season. The poppy seed garnish isn’t necessary, but it adds a contrast of color and a soft crunch that completes the bread’s visual and textural appeal. This bread is great when toasted with butter and strawberry jam on a rainy spring day, transformed into French toast on a warm summer morning, sandwiched in a BLT on a busy fall afternoon, or torn apart straight out of the oven, in all its fragrant freshness—anytime of year.

get

For the bread • ¼ cup & 1 tsp. sugar • 1 cup warm water • 1 package active dry yeast • 2 large eggs, beaten • 2 tsp. salt • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • ½ cup oil (sunflower seed or canola) For the egg wash • 1 egg, beaten • Poppy seeds do

1. Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar and yeast into ½ cup warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. 2. Mix ½ cup warm water, beaten eggs, ¼ cup sugar, and salt into the yeast mixture. Add flour and oil alternately until just combined, and let stand another 10 minutes. 3. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Cover and let rise for 2 hours. 4. Gently punch down the dough and let rise for another hour. 5. Gently punch down the dough again and braid two loaves. Place the loaves on a greased baking sheet, then cover and let stand for 45 minutes. When 5 minutes remain, preheat the oven to 350 °F. 6. Generously brush the loaves with egg wash, making sure to brush into the creases of the braids. Sprinkle generously with poppy seeds and bake for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container or freeze for later consumption! recipes

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SWEDISH GLÖGG by // Mary Bittner + Aneesa Sonawalla photos // Aneesa Sonawalla

I

n Chicago, the winter weather can be a bit intimidating and disheartening. Between the biting wind and the horribly dry air, one develops an urge to stay inside and hibernate during the winter months. Scandinavians, on the other hand, always appear to enjoy the season. The reason for this difference in attitude towards winter and cold weather? Arguably, the existence of Swedish Glögg, a delectable mulled wine full of warm spices and tart dried fruits. It’s consumed by Scandinavians during the Advent season and is probably the second best thing from Sweden, after IKEA. This enticing and comforting beverage is a staple for long, cold nights in and is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients suit your fancy When we got together to brew our own 26

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glögg, the blustery day discouraged us from any unnecessary grocery store trips, so we tweaked the recipe to work with what we had on hand. This flexibility is part of the tradition, too; every family has their own recipe for glögg, and it can be a little different every time you make it. For us, that meant swapping the usual brandy for Disaronno amaretto, a sweet, Italian almond liqueur that complements the boldness of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the rich flavors of the various dried fruits. Be creative and express your own individual tastes and preferences in your selection of dried fruits, choice of liqueur, and amount of sugar. However you make it, Swedish glögg is the perfect beverage to serve to friends and family during the cold winter months.

get

• 1½ l of Cabernet Sauvignon (or some other dry red wine) • ⅓ cup almonds, slivered or halved • 1 orange peel • 3 cinnamon sticks • ⅓ cup jumbo black raisins • ⅓ cup sweetened dried whole cranberries • 5 Black Mission dried whole figs • 15 cloves (whole) • Approx. 1 tbsp. sugar (to taste) • 2 shots of Disaronno amaretto (to taste) do

1. Pour wine into a large pot, leaving several inches of room for stirring. 2. Add almonds, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, raisins, and dried cranberries. 3. Pierce figs with 3 cloves each, then add to the pot. 4. Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally to keep fruit from sticking. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer. 5. Add sugar and amaretto in parts, stirring and tasting as you go. 6. Serve warm, with a generous scoop of glöggsoaked fruits in every cup.


{

PREP 5 minutes COOK 20 minutes MAKES 4-6 servings

{

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UChicago Bite Issue I: Winter 2016  

The first issue of UChicago's newly rebranded print culinary magazine, formerly Nonpareil!

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